Thursday, July 31, 2014

3 Things To Know Before Using The Flower Patch Stamp Set

I have been itching to use the Flower Patch stamp set with matching Framelits ever since I got the set but there was not enough time before Convention. But I needed a birthday card for my sister-in-law and decided that today was the day to play with them!
I eagerly mounted up a few of the photopolymer stamps and started inking. To say my results were less than stellar would be an understatement! I had gaps where there was no ink as well as uneven mottling of ink in larger stamp areas.

I checked over the posts I had read on Stampin Connection, the private forum for Stampin' Up! Demonstrators. There had been several suggestions:
  • Clean stamps well with stamp mist and the Stampin scrubber.
  • Use a white eraser to rub across the stamp and then clean the stamp again.
  • Rub the stamp along your arm before inking it.
  • Use Versamark on the stamp first and then your ink.
None of these worked! Either the ink didn't seem to adhere to the stamp or it adhered too well and when I removed the stamp from the paper, there were gaps in my stamping.
I was about ready to throw the whole set of stamps across my craft room!
I did a search one last time to see if I had missed anything about these stamps. I had! There was a suggestion to place the piercing mat under the paper to which you were stamping.
Hallelujah! This technique worked BRILLIANTLY and, most importantly, with repeatable results. My stamped images were now clean and crisp just like the cards I had seen on Pinterest!
Now I did discover a few things for myself, and these I want to share with you.
  1. These photopolymer stamps are STICKY (notice the capital letters?)! When I tried to ink them the stamp pad would get stuck to the stamp! This reminded me of getting a new cutting mat for my Silhouette Cameo. Before I could use it successfully, I had to remove some of the stickiness. I applied that same principle to these stamps. I used a piece of an old t-shirt to blot the stamp until it would no longer stick to my hand. Then I inked it.
  2. These stamps will get permanently stained with some color, in my case Melon Mambo and Blackberry Bliss. Though they may not look as pretty as they did when you first opened the package, the stamps will still work.
  3. There is a trick to lining up the Framelits with the stamps. Brenda Keenan from Keenan Kreations has an excellent video detailing how to make it easy to cut out these stamps. I used her method which will definitely help the next time I use these stamps!
So for the card I created, I cased a card by Leena Girsa.

This is my card. I'm thrilled with how it turned out!

I finished the card with some non Stampin' Up! sequins and ribbon. All other supplies are listed below.
So, have you tried using the Flower Patch stamp set? I'd love it if you would share your experience with me in a comment below!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Creativity and Becoming

I hadn't planned to blog today until I saw a Facebook post from Jenny Petersen of Lakeshore Stamping.

Now, before seeing her post, I hadn't thought too much about why I like to create. I just do. I decided to do some research to see why others create.

In Why We Make Art | Greater Good, seven different kinds of artists were asked why they made art. As you'd expect, they all had different reasons.

For Gina Gibney, a dancer, it is all about giving power to others. She works with victims of abuse as well as individuals living with HIV/AIDS. Dance can provide a way to communicate without speaking words.

Judy Dater, a photographer likes to express emotions; to have others experience emotions she feels when photographing people.

Pete Docteur, a film maker who has been involved in a number of popular Pixar creations, does it because "it's fun making things."

Harrell Fletcher teaches in the art department at Portland a State University. For him, art is anything that anyone calls art—sort of an "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" type of approach. He gets enjoyment from working with a number of people through art.

Kramer Dawes, Ph. D is a poet. He feels he writes as a means to control the world in which lives, trying to recreate it in the way he thinks it should be and to use words to convey the sense of his world to someone else.

James Sturm is a cartoonist who doesn't necessarily consider what he does to be art. However, he does feel compelled to do it.

Lastly, Lawrence Krisna Parker, or KRS-One, is a hip hop artist. He feels that hip hop has kept him young, that it doesn't allow you to grow up too fast; for him hip hop is beyond time and space.

Seven different artists, seven different reasons for making art. For all seven, though, it seems to be something that they need to do.

For me, I know I need a creative outlet in my life whether that takes the form of card making, scrapbooking, music expression, photographing, writing, or even cooking. Life would indeed be bland without those pursuits.

When I am being creative, I can go to my happy place (and no, that doesn't mean my craft room!). I'm in the zone as it were. The zone is a good place.

How about you? Why do you create? Who do you become when you create? Share your answers by leaving me a comment below!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Weekly Deals, Stampin' Up!'s August Promotion, and Blendabilities!

Wow, there are sure a lot of great items in this week's round up! Don't miss out—snag some of these for yourself! Here are a few ideas:

  • Buttons are always a nice addition to a card, especially in groupings of three.
  • Did you know that the sprinkles on the Cupcake Builder Punch are the perfect size to fit the Candy Dot Brad Bases?
  • Now is the time to think about Christmas! Who wouldn't like a present topped with the lovely Gift Bow?
  • Add a little extra glitz to your projects with the Watercolor Washi tape!
Now if you really want to make your order count, hold off on your order until August 1 and then pair some of the above with August's wonderful BigShot promotion: Buy the BigShot and receive a BigShot bundle of stamp set and matching framelits for FREE! What a WONDERFUL deal!

But what if you already own the BigShot? There is still a deal for you! You can purchase 1 or more of these special BigShot Bundles for 15% off! These bundles are NOT offered in the catalog! Check back on August 1 to view these special bundles!

Also, on August 1, ALL of the Blendabilities become available for purchase! Have you tried a few of the early release and are now itching for some of the new colors? If this is your first time ordering them, remember that you will need to use the Memento Tuxedo Stamp Pad as the regular Stampin' Up! inks will bleed into your coloring. The Color Lifter is also a valuable tool to have for creating highlights or cleaning up stray coloring marks. The Blendabilities are designed to work on our Whisper White Cardstock so be sure you have a good supply of that as well!

Here is a sympathy card I created sometime ago using the Blendabilities with the Blended Bloom stamp. I just love the combination of the two!

Blended Bloom using Blendabilities

I created a square card base using Smoky Slate Cardstock. I added a matte from Bermuda Bay Cardstock which I scored using the Simply Scored tool. I adhered this to the card front.

Using the Circles Collection Framelits I used two of the circles to cut through the card front and then to create two ring "frames" to adhere on top of the Bermuda Bay matte. The innermost frame needed a bit more definition so I outlined it using my Indigo Island Stampin Marker.

The flower was stamped on Whisper white using the Memento Tuxedo Black Stamp Pad and then colored using Blendabilities. The flower was then fussy cut and mounted on dimensionals to the inside of the card.

The sentiment was stamped on Whisper White using Bermuda Bay ink and then punched using the Modern Label punch. I punched two more labels from Island Indigo. These were cut in half, one lengthwise, one widthwise, and adhered behind the white label to create a matte. Dimensionals were used to pop up the sentiment.